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Editorial Reviews. Review. "A searingly honest look at his life. The title is not metaphorical -the memoir deals with his own sexual history, his mother's.
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He didn't mince words nor did he sugar-coat anything and his willingness to expose himself to whoever might read the book is commendable. However, unlike other reviewers, I only give the book two stars. I found the author's writing style to be at times too formal and at other times over-laden with adjectives. I don't have a problem with his stark honesty but I felt that he was trying too hard to conj Like other reviewers, I give credit to the author for his honesty and candor throughout his book.

I don't have a problem with his stark honesty but I felt that he was trying too hard to conjure emotions or feelings for the reader. Some may like that style of writing but for me it was overblown and tedious. I also felt that Mr. Espinoza's book was written mostly in the style of gay porn. I have nothing against gay porn but I didn't expect to read such graphic descriptions of his sexual acts in this book.

I understand that he was attempting to convey his ongoing search for love through sex but it seemed that he vacillated between two themes: wanting to tell the story about his dysfunctional family and his formative years vs writing erotica. I found his desire to create a perfect life for himself despite all the chaos and dysfunction in his life to be an interesting story about who he is and I would have liked to read more about that.

However, his recounting of many sexual encounters in very graphic detail diminished the story of his search for himself and his desire to gain some control over his own life.


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One other thing I disliked and maybe this is just one of my own pet peeves is the author's tendency to re-create, verbatim, conversations he had with others even though those conversations happened years ago. It's difficult for me to believe that he remembers the conversations with enough clarity that he can quote them word for word, yet throughout the book he includes detailed conversations, in quotes, as if he had recorded them when they happened.


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Again, maybe that's a common technique that's perfectly acceptable but I found it irritating and it detracted from the honesty of Mr. Espinoza's writing. I realize I'm in the minority but this is not a book I would recommend to others. Aug 10, Sherri Starr rated it it was amazing. Loved the author's honesty, transparency, and willingness to tell us all the details of his experiences in life, sex, and love. I feel like I got a peek into his world and at times it was uncomfortable to imagine living through what he lived.

It's a great story of perseverance against all odds! View 1 comment. Aug 11, Fredy Espinoza rated it it was amazing.


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  6. I love sharing my brutal and crisp honesty of all I have been through. It is a life story that once read will never be forgotten. It's graphic across the whole spectrum--from violence to psychological trauma to sex. I truly recommend my own memoir. Starts out great Starts out great, a interesting story of one growing up in the throws of mental illness and chaotic family. Even in exile, they remain under threat and her cousin is murdered by an American vigilante while her father remains on a death list in Iran.

    Majidi muses on the complexities of growing up between two cultures and the xenophobia she experiences. She maintains good grades in school despite her severe anxiety and the financial instability her family faces. She turns to literature to escape being outcast at school and the reality of being coerced into an emotionally manipulative relationship. Writing and Madness in a Time of Terror contains powerful reflections on Islamophobia, sexism, mental illness, trauma, identity, rape, and war. She demonstrates a love for language and a yearning for truth, and her confessional style of writing gives her work a tremendous intimacy with the reader.

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    Requiem a Memoir of Sex, Madness, and Self-Destruction

    Majidi suffers a series of destructive and abusive relationships while working at several different magazines and simultaneously working on her novel. She jumps in and out of relationships, yearning for love and connection, but often leaves these relationships more damaged.

    She laments:. I was worried that others were wary of me and could tell my nationality just by looking at me. I took on the suffering of the Iraqis as my own… I refused to watch the news; which was full of lies and gave no clear reasons as to why we were bombing a relatively weak country with such intensity.

    ISBN 13: 9781466254978

    I was sure Iran was the next target and I hated myself for having the privilege of leaving that part of the world unscathed. I began curling up in bed and listening to the news and crying all day and night. As an American living in New York City, it was disheartening to read how Islamophobia so closely mirrors the wars many immigrants have come to America to try to escape.

    Majidi writes:. My stomach pains returned every time he brought up this fairytale. As her world crumbles, she reconnects with her writing professor James Lasdun, and becomes fixated on him; emailing him furiously during her periods of mania. When we write openly about crucial subjects like mental illness and rape; we are helping to de-stigmatize these issues.

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    Gut wrenching at times, Writing and Madness in a Time of Terror is not for the faint of heart. Majidi does not hold back in her often lurid and sometimes graphic descriptions of horrific memories. It became arduous at times for me to observe the severity of her mental deterioration and to absorb the depictions of abuse and trauma. After being sleep deprived for nearly two weeks. My lips turned purple, and I weighed one hundred pounds, nearly twenty pounds below my normal weight.

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    I was filthy too, my black hair slicked with oil. I refused to shower, believing the water was laced with the same poisonous gas I was already breathing….. A thick fog cast an ominous cloud over the empty cul-de-sac. I knew it was an obscene hour to be awake, so when my neighbor came outside, I panicked.

    He ran to his car when he saw me, which made me even more suspicious. I applaud Fredy for the courage he showed by bringing this story.

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    Written with lusciously detailed and strikingly honest expression, it is definitely a book in its own class. A must read! I applaud Fredy for the courage he showed by bringing this story to light and giving us a peek into his world.